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Make a ghost in Photoshop

Make a ghost in Photoshop - As Halloween is just around the corner we're going to show you how to create a ghost like image.

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Adobe Photoshop

 To start this tutorial you need two images: one of a person who'd make a fitting ghost and a suitable background for the ghost to float through. You then need to open them up in Photoshop.

Man playing bagpipes Scene to add ghost to

We converted our background image to black & white by going to Image>Adjustments>Black & White. This isn't a necessity but can work well with some images.

Step 1: Cut your ghost out

You need to take your 'ghost' out of the background they're currently on. There are various ways to do this but one of the easiest ways is with the Quick Selection tool which you simply drag over the areas you want to select. Don't worry if you grab some of the background as you can erase it later on. Once you have your person selected go to Edit>Copy (Cntrl + C) then open your chosen background and paste your 'ghost' into it (Edit>Paste or Cntrl + P).

Use selection tool to cut your subject out
Paste selection on to your background

Step 2: Tidy your ghost up

If you have some of the previous background has moved with your selection use the Erase Tool to remove it. Don't worry if you erase a little of the person's body as you're turning them into a ghost so parts of their body can vanish.

Step 3: Resize your ghost

Your 'ghost' will probably be way too big for the background so you need to shrink them down a little. Go to Edit>Free Transform and adjust the anchor points until your ghost fits.

Free Transform your object

Step 4: Saturate your ghost

We're going to remove the colour from our 'ghost' by going to Edit>Black & White once again. Have a play with the sliders until you create an exposure you're happy with and hit OK.

Turn your object black & white

Step 5: Make your person more ghostly

To make your person look more ghost like change the Layer Blend Mode from Normal to Hard Light. Now play with the opacity settings to make your ghost more transparent if you so desire.

Change the blend mode

Step 6: Add a little blur

Finally, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and add a few points of blur. How much you add is down to personal preference but generally only 2-5 points are needed.
Add Gaussian Blur

Once you've added your blur your spooky images is complete.
Finished image:
Ghost image complete
Ghost image complete - close up
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31 Mar 2013 5:08AM
Thank you. This article was extremely helpful to me!
widtink 5 406 2 Scotland
31 Mar 2013 8:33AM
Just rentaghost its much simpler Smile

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